Monday, February 26, 2007

BDA’s hi-tech city still in limbo

BDA’s hi-tech city still in limbo
The Times of India

Bangalore: It was once the most talked about project in the city which would create an exclusive work-live-fun atmosphere for the techies along with an expressway connecting the ring road. But after all the hype, the IT-BT hi-tech city is on the backburner.
Apart from official delay, the latest on the list of reasons is: BDA has run into land acquisition problems as the governor has felt that the organisation needn’t get into industrial land acquisition process. He has turned down an as mendment seeking a related legislation.
About four years ago, BDA had mooted a hi-tech city project along with an IT corridor. Estimated to cost Rs 390 crore, the corridor will run through outer ring road from Iblur to Electronic City Phase II with a connectivity of 8.5 km mini-express highway to be built at at a cost of Rs 35 crore. The project was envisaged exclusively to accommodate IT and BT firms as well as residential colonies.
The BDA had zeroed in on 1,097 acres for issuance preliminary notification land acquisition at which time it was realised that land had to be procured under industrial category for the project. The BDA, in its Act, does not have powers to acquire lands for industrial purpose and can only do it for residential usage to develop layouts.
Hence it had proposed an amendment to the BDA Act to empower the authorities to acquire land for industrial purpose. A Bill was placed in this regard in the legislature which was approved in both the Houses.
However, when it was sent for the governor’s approval, the Bill was sent back seeking clarifications during the first week of February. The legislature in turn passed on the Bill and governor’s observations to the urban development department on February 6.
According to the governor’s observations, the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) has been exclusively formed by the government to initiate land acquisition process for industrial usage. When this agency has already been entrusted with the job, it would not be appropriate to duplicate the work and hence BDA should stick to its ambit of work. Now, the urban development department and BDA are working out another model for land acquisition which would be hassle-free.
Initially, when conceived, the project had gathered so much momentum that the BDA had even negotiated with the French water major Degremont to set up mobile raw water treatment plants to take care of the drinking water supply in the proposed hi-tech city. The firm has already worked with the BWSSB on its Cauvery water supply scheme, fourth stage phase I project. The firm had agreed to install the mobile water treatment plants free of cost as a promotional venture.


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